The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, and the Travel Foundation, the international agency that promotes the benefits of tourism to people and the environment, will on Monday, launch a free online sustainable tourism course to help increase knowledge of how to review and plan for the sustainable development of Caribbean tourist destinations.
The capacity building online training programme, which is available free of charge to ministries, government departments, tourism authorities and tourist boards engaged in destination management in CTO member countries, focuses on the practical dimensions of sustainable tourism, and seeks to introduce participants to key considerations during the planning and design of tourism activities.
The course will examine what makes tourism both constructive and destructive to host communities, suggest tools for conservation and responsible use of resources, and provide strategies which countries can use to develop and implement their own national initiatives.
“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to partner with the Travel Foundation to offer this course which provides a roadmap to destination success, with the aim of enhancing regional knowledge and competencies in the theory and practice of sustainable tourism. It is well known that the region is the world’s most tourism-dependent region, therefore, it is imperative that tourism is developed in a manner that ensures long-term benefits and value for Caribbean residents and visitors alike, even as we endeavour to position ourselves as the world’s most desirable, year-round warm weather destination,” the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley said.
Benchmarked with good practice case studies, the course will sharpen participants’ ability to plan the development of their local tourism industry in a way that meets the needs of both visitors and host communities, creates a more resilient economy, protects tourism assets and secures the future of Caribbean destinations.
The six modules cover key sustainability topics to include understanding sustainable tourism in the global context of climate change; increasing the socio-economic benefits of tourism; protecting cultural and built heritage; managing the environmental impacts of tourism and planning the sustainable development of each destination.
“At the Travel Foundation, we recognise how important it is for destination authorities to have the knowledge, resources and information available to make sound decisions that will ensure the sustainability of tourism long into the future. We are working with the CTO because they too have this mindset, and want to ensure the Caribbean is a region where future tourism growth promotes thriving communities and a healthy environment. Together we can work towards achieving this goal,” said Salli Felton, chief executive officer of the Travel Foundation, which has developed the training.
The course is being offered with an open timeline, but for maximum impact it is recommended that individuals complete the programme within two to four weeks of commencement.
The training course is part of a broader cooperation agreement between the two organizations, which will sign a memorandum of understating during Caribbean Week New York next month to provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration n areas of common interest to contribute to sustainable tourism development in the region.